L.A. Times:

According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control, 37,792 people died from overdoses and other drug-related causes in 2010. By comparison, 35,080 deaths were attributed to car accidents, 31,513 to guns and 25,440 to alcohol.

The drugs are killing people, yes, but their prohibition—and the concomitant black market and ignorance—is more dangerous than the drugs themselves. And even though the early data suggests that (technically legal) prescription drugs are the major culprit, it doesn't absolve the way the black market tilts towards death. For the most part, those prescription-drug overdoses aren't folks taking their doctor-recommended pills while recovering from root canals. They're people who are eating/snorting/shooting pills and don't know what they're doing.

The data will never be able to show it conclusively, but I'd put strong money on many of those prescription-pill overdoses coming from junkies trying to wean themselves off stronger opiates like smack and fentanyl. (And, of course, suicides and ignorant kids fooling around.)

In sum, prohibition-only policy is like abstinence-only education. By taking rational discussion and education off the table, it invites doom.